IT is fair to say that non-league Barkingside F.C. do not feature prominently in the history of English football.

But the Essex Senior League side, formed in 1889, do have a very special claim to fame.

In 1951, with the country still recovering from the ravages of the Second World War, Barkingside entered and won a cup competition organised as part of the celebrations to mark the Festival of Britain.

Barkingside lifted the Ilford Guardian Festival of Britain Cup by beating fellow non-leaguers Cleveland Old Boys 4-1 in a final at Cricklefield, Ilford.

In their match report on the game, the Guardian described Barkingside as “a team which played a fast game, mingled with accurate passing.”

But while faded newspaper reports of the match survive, finding the men who brought the cup home has proved a tough task for club historian Rob Meyers.

The 38-year-old, who works for WH Smith when he is not following his football team, has been trying to trace Barkingside’s forgotten heroes for several years.

He spends much of his spare time on an ongoing project to write a comprehensive history of the club, and is desperate to get in contact with any of the men who lifted the cup.

He said: “The Festival of Britain was such a big moment in the country’s history, and Barkingside have a unique place in that history.

“There were various friendlies played up and down the country as part of the celebrations, but as far as I’m aware this was the only trophy associated with the festival.”

Mr Meyers has spent hours poring over old microfilm in Ilford Central Library looking for information on the players, but as of yet has been unable to contact any of them.

He explained: “I did manage to speak to the daughter of one of the players, Roy Enticknap, a few years ago, but sadly he had passed away and she didn’t have any details on the other players.

“I suppose any surviving members of the team would be well into their 80s or 90s now.

“For me, as a fan first and foremost, it would be incredible to meet some of these people.

“Their names keep cropping up in match reports, but to meet them in the flesh would be fantastic.

“I’d also love to speak to anyone who attended the game as a fan.

“It doesn’t matter how small the detail is, I’m determined to record it.

“Writing the club’s history is a lifelong task for me, but it’s one which I’m very happy to see through.

“Finding the men who played in this match would be a real thrill.”

Do you know any players who were part of the cup-winning team? Were you at the game? Call the Guardian on 01992 572285 or email

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